vegan thai green curry
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Vegan Green Curry Recipe (Thai Style)

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Whether you need a quick recipe to impress the crowd or you simply want to cook something exciting and aromatic for today’s lunch, you have to try this fantastic Thai-style green curry with vegetables. It is easy to make, vegan, gluten-free and tastes incredible! 

vegan thai green curry

This recipe can be adjusted seasonally, so you can make your vegan Thai green curry with any vegetables that you like. Combining the right herbs, spices and aromatics will make it super rich and flavourful.

I included homemade Thai green curry paste from scratch in this recipe too, but feel free to use a store-bought paste and make this dish even quicker and easier.

vegan thai green curry

Ingredients for vegan Thai green curry with vegetables

To make this delicious vegan green curry (with homemade curry paste), you will need the following ingredients:

  • Vegetables of choice – I used fresh young peas and zucchini because they were in season, but you can use whichever vegetables you like.
  • Tofu or mushrooms (optional) – to add some more protein to the dish.
  • Vegetable broth – follow this easy recipe if you want to make your own vegetable broth from kitchen scraps.
  • Coconut oil
  • Full-fat coconut milk – to make the curry extra creamy and add more flavour and sweetness.
  • Fresh galangal – one of the main ingredients that give Thai curry dishes their unique flavour. Galangal is a herb related to ginger but with a richer aroma consisting of more citrusy and floral notes. In Europe, I usually buy it frozen in Asian stores. If you cannot find galangal, use fresh ginger as a substitute. It will not be absolutely the same, but you will compensate for it with other herbs.
  • Fresh turmeric – possible to substitute with dried, powdered turmeric, but fresh one will give you a nicer aroma.
  • Makrut lime (kaffir lime) leaves – I usually buy them frozen or dried in Asian stores. I sometimes use fresh lemon leaves instead, because many of my friends have lemon trees in their gardens here in Croatia. 
  • Fresh lemongrass
  • Green chilli peppers – any kind of green chillies will work. 
  • Fresh Thai basil – adds a beautiful aroma when used fresh, but its main function in the curry paste will actually be to give more green colour to it. Therefore, a lot of its original aroma will be lost in the cooking. Thai basil is not essential in this recipe – If you can’t find it, you can leave it out and still get an amazing result. If you like the spicy, aromatic notes of Thai basil, you can save some fresh leaves and add them at the end of the cooking. (Substituting Thai basil with regular basil won’t do the trick in this case because Thai basil is spicier and tastes different.) 
  • Fresh lime – the zest is used as an ingredient for the curry paste, and the juice is great to squeeze after serving to make the dish taste fresher and more citrusy.
  • Shallots
  • Garlic 
  • Salted fermented lemons (optional) – these are actually one of my favourite secret ingredients for green curry! I make my own salted lemons and promise to share the recipe with you at some point, but more or less just cut the lemons into slices, cover them in salt and let them ferment in a jar for up to a week. You will get a perfect salty, citrusy kick to enrich many dishes.
  • Coconut blossom sugar – adding just a little bit of sugar makes all the aromas in this dish stand out even more.
  • Himalayan salt or sea salt
  • Naturally fermented soy sauce.

I absolutely recommend following the full ingredient list for this green curry recipe and getting all of the herbs and spices to make the curry paste from scratch. However, buying a green curry paste is always an option if you cannot find many of these ingredients. 

If it is important to you that all of the ingredients in this dish are vegan, don’t forget to read the ingredients on the curry paste packaging, as some brands also use shrimp paste.

Store-bought green curry paste should already contain green chillies, galangal, turmeric, lemongrass, lime leaves, coriander and cumin, so you are good to go – with a spoonful of that paste, your dish will be done in no time.

That being said, you won’t regret the extra effort if you decide to use fresh herbs and spices for this green curry recipe. 

vegan thai green curry

Making the Thai green curry paste

To make the green curry paste, you will need to mince all the herbs and aromatics, crush them together with dry spices with a mortar and pestle and continue pounding until you get a paste. Another option would be to mince everything really well and skip the step of turning it into a paste.

If you are working with larger amounts, you can also use a blender or a food processor to make the paste from spices and fresh ingredients. This is the easiest option and gives you the smoothest paste.

vegan thai green curry

Which vegetables to use?

In this green curry recipe, you can use any vegetables that you like: carrots, aubergines, fresh bell peppers, broccoli, green beans, asparagus… You can also add tofu cubes and mushrooms if you like.

When I’m cooking with tofu, some kinds of mushrooms and vegetables that need some more time to cook such as aubergines and carrots, I like to first stir-fry them in a pan with some coconut oil to soften them a bit, then set them aside and add them to the curry when it’s boiling.

As for the tender vegetables such as young peas, zucchini, young spinach and even finely sliced broccoli and pepper – I like to have them as fresh as possible, so I will just add them later to the boiling curry soup and cook for up to a minute.

vegan thai green curry

The most important thing that makes this green curry what it is is actually the combination of spices, herbs and aromatics used to make the paste. The choice of vegetables is totally up to you.

This time, I decided to go minimalistic and use only young green peas and zucchini. I loved the fresh combination of these seasonal ingredients and the fact that they needed a minimum amount of cooking. I actually just added the raw zucchini to the hot dish instead of cooking it, to preserve even more freshness.

vegan thai green curry

Cooking the vegan green curry

To make the curry, heat the paste in a pan with some coconut oil very slowly over the lowest heat. The idea is to release the aroma without burning the ingredients. Then add the vegetable broth, lime leaves and chopped salted lemons.

Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for a couple of minutes over low to medium heat. Add the vegetables (fresh or previously stir-fried), coconut milk, coconut sugar, soy sauce and salt, and a few fresh Thai basil leaves if you have any.

Wait until it boils again, and then you can already turn off the heat and close the pot with a lid to rest a bit. 

Serve the curry with cooked rice, some fresh Thai basil or cilantro leaves and a slice of lime on the side.

vegan thai green curry
Yield: 2 portions

Vegan Green Curry Recipe (Thai Style)

vegan thai green curry

Thai green curry with vegetables is a fantastic lunch or dinner idea. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, easy and versatile. Includes a homemade curry paste, but also an option of using a premade one.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • ½ cup fresh young peas
  • 1 small zucchini
  • Other vegetables of choice, mushrooms, tofu (all optional)
  • ⅔ - 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 small green chilli (or up to taste)
  • 1 small handful of fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • 6-8 fresh Thai basil leaves (some for the paste, some for the last phase of cooking and some for garnishing)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1-2 small shallots
  • 5-7 mm slice of fresh galangal or ginger
  • 5-7 mm slice of fresh turmeric
  • 2 lime leaves
  • ⅓ tsp coriander seeds
  • ⅓ tsp cumin seeds
  • ⅓ tsp white peppercorns
  • 1 slice of fermented salted lemon (optional, but I recommend it)
  • 2 cm piece of fresh lemongrass stalk
  • 1-2 pinches of Himalayan salt
  • 1-2 tbsp tamari or other naturally fermented soy sauce
  • 1 tsp coconut blossom sugar
  • ½ lime (zest and juice)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil


  1. Mince the turmeric, galangal or ginger, lemongrass, shallots and garlic finely, or grate them. Grate some lime zest.
  2. Mince the green chilli, half of the Thai basil leaves, and fresh coriander/cilantro. You can use all the coriander stalks, and save a couple of leaves for garnishing. 
  3. Toast the cumin and coriander seeds on a dry pan over low heat to make it easier to release their aroma (this step is optional, but makes the dish more flavourful).
  4. Use a mortar and pestle to crush and grind the cumin and coriander seeds, turmeric, ginger, garlic, chilli, lemongrass, lime zest, Thai basil leaves and cilantro stems into a paste. It will be easiest to start with the dry spices (cumin and coriander seeds), crush them well, and then add the fresh herbs and aromatics. Alternatively, you can just use everything finely minced and skip making the paste. 
  5. If you are using tofu or some firmer vegetables such as eggplant, carrots or green beans, you can stir-fry them in a pan on some coconut oil to soften a bit, and set aside. 
  6. Heat the spice paste in a pan with two tablespoons of coconut oil, over low heat, to release the aroma (slowly and with stirring so as not to burn the herbs). 
  7. When the paste starts looking a bit dry and smelling pleasant and spicy, you can add the vegetable broth, lime leaves and finely chopped salted lemons, and simmer for a couple of minutes. 
  8. Add the peas, other vegetables and tofu (if you decided to use any), Thai basil (if you left a few leaves for this step; optional), coconut milk, coconut sugar, tamari and salt, bring to a boil and remove from the heat. 
  9. Squeeze a little bit of lime juice and stir, or prepare a few lime wedges to be squeezed after serving.
  10. Cut zucchini into thin strips using a mandolin slicer or a vegetable peeler. 
  11. Serve the hot green curry with cooked jasmine rice, fresh zucchini strips, some fresh Thai basil or coriander leaves, and a slice of lime.

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